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Prof Ursel Bangert Profile

Dr rer nat, MInstP, CPhys; 

Bernal Chair of Microscopy and Imaging

Department of Physics and Energy, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland

Telephone: +353 61 213499


Consultation Hours: Tuesdays and Wednesdays : 14h00 – 15h00



1981:          Dr. rer. nat.1978-1981: PhD project at the ‘Universitaet zu Köln’

1978:          Diplom der Physik (eqv. to MSc)

1972-1978: Studies of Physics at the ‘Universitaet zu Köln’



Since 2014:     Bernal Professor in the Department of Physics and Energy, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland

2009-2014:      Reader in the School of Materials at the University of Manchester

2005-2009:      Senior Lecturer in the School of Materials at the University of Manchester

1993-2005:      Lecturer in the Department of Physics at UMIST (Senior Lecturer since 1998)

1992-1993:      Lecturer in the Department of Physics at the University of Surrey

1988-1992:      Advanced SERC Fellow in Information Technology in the Department of Physics at the University of Surrey

1982-1988:      Research Fellowships at the University of Surrey in the Departments of Elec. Eng. Mat. Sci. Eng. and Physics

1978-1982:      Research Fellow at Köln University in the Department of Kernchemie

1976-1978:      Part time research assistant at Koeln University in the Departments of Kernphysik and Kernchemie

1974-1976:      Part time teacher at the Gymnasium Köln-Deutz, Thusneldastrasse



  • Involvement in all areas of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching including the development and coordination of new courses and laboratory classes and role of course coordinator and course directoro   Teaching on an individual level and to audiences of small groups through to classes of 250+ students, on university degree courses, service- and specialist courses, to various audiences, from school children to specialists on scientific workshops, employing ‘chalk and talk’ methods, problem-based, and quite often, application oriented teaching.
  • PhD, MSc and Postdoc supervision,
  • monthly TEM forum for users (students, post grads and post docs of Manchester University, to discuss current issues arising from TEM use)
  • Frequent external and internal PhD examiner


Industrial and Academic Collaboration 

  • Extensive industrial research leading to direct academic knowledge transfer with DeBeers, Element6, Gatan, FEI, Bruker, Graphene Industries, Bluestone Global Tech, EPI, Thomas Swan, BP Solar, GEC Plessey, Philips Research Labs, BNRE, IBM Zuerich, all through CASE studentships, support of research grants, and/or contracts for consultancy work.o   dealing with daily requests by industries for provision of electron microscopy services and engagement in company specific research issues.
  • Involvement in electron microscopy studies that proved essential in laying scientific foundations for two new university based spin-off companies: Graphene Industries, set up by researchers in Physics, and Silicon Based Emission Technology (Sibet), set up by researchers from EE&E in conjunction with Surrey and McMasters (Canada) universities.
  • Intensivecollaborations within academia, including UK Universities: Manchester, Leeds, Salford, Liverpool, Surrey, Exeter, Newcastle upon Tyne, UCL, Universitaet Augsburg, Universitaet Goettingen, Trinity College Dublin/CRANN, Centre for Superhard and Novel Carbon Materials in Moscow, Forschungszentrum Juelich/Universitaet Aachen alliance (Germany), Daresbury SuperSTEM laboratories, EMPA (Switzerland), University of Minho (Braga, Portugal)
  • Participation in creating >£11 Mio of research funding (as PI or co-applicant)


Research Interests

– Current research focus on fundamental investigations of the local dependence of plasmonic structure and tailoring thereof, in 1D semiconductor assemblies, carbon nanotubes, graphene and other novel 2-D materials, aiming at practical use in photo-emission, optical enhancers, wave guides, photovoltaics, and at design of prototype devices.- Sustained high quality publication output (~170+ papers; major investigator and writer in 80% of these) in academic/ professional journals, including Nature papers, review articles, Perspectives, and over 45 refereed conference papers; (not including 100 or so un-refereed conference papers); contributed prolifically at national and international conferences, delivered numerous invited talks and seminars- Highlights of recent research include •international reputation in pioneering studies of the relationship between microstructural defects and electronic band structure in semiconducting and wide bandgap materials via valence band electron energy loss spectroscopy (VEELS) •amongst the first to achieve single atom electron spectroscopy with single atom imaging resolution •first to apply VEELS to graphene and to attempt plasmon tailoring in carbon nanotubes and graphene (via ion implantion) •first in atomic resolution high angle dark field imaging and energy loss spectroscopy of graphene, revealing insights into the atomic structure (defects, ad-atoms, impurities), the dynamics of the topography (rippling, nano-scopic metal-atom assisted etching, graphene defect healing) •first to use ion implantation to controllably functionalise graphene •first, with colleagues from PSI, to demonstrate Scanning Tunneling Microscopy of suspended graphene and static nature of its ripples

– Current application-oriented research objectives are •novel 2-D versions of dichalcogenides (including materials with negative plasmon dispersion for direct light coupling) and of MAX phases (MXenes ->unknown territory) •carbon nanotubes: ion beam modification for application as optical enhancers, wave guides, photonic and light harvesting devices (plasmon tuning); evolution of morphology and influence on electronic properties for integration into semiconductor electronics •Silicon photonics for Si-integrated technologies: light emission from the rare-earth doped silica/Si-nanoscrystal system through ion-beam modification

– Past research has included •role of defects in the ageing and failure mechanisms of semiconductor devices •exploration of electron microscopies/ spectroscopies with ultra-high spatial resolution applied to materials of wide and medium bandgaps – highly spatially resolved chemical and electronic structure studies via EELS •self-organized growth phenomena in strained III-V semiconductor hetero systems and SiGe

•establishing a universal roughening transition curve (temperature versus strain) •strain driven compositional segregation in semiconductor quantum wells, wires and dots •bandgap states at extended defects in wide band gap semiconductors, diamond and perovskites •surface plasmon phenomena in nanocarbons, semiconductor and metal nanospheres



Selected publications relating to research dating back to 2008

  • U. Bangert, R. Zan, ‘Electronic functionalisation of graphene via external doping and dosing’ International Materials Reviews (2014)
  • R. Zan, Q. M. Ramasse, R. Jalil, T. Georgiou, U. Bangert, K. S. Novoselov, ‘Control of radiation damage in MoS2 by graphene encapsulation’, ACS Nano 7, 10167 (2013)
  • U. Bangert, W. Pierce, D. M. Kepaptsoglou, Q. Ramasse,R. Zan, M. H. Gass, J. A. Van den Berg, C. B. Boothroyd, J. Amani, H. Hofsäss, ‘Ion implantation of graphene – towards IC compatible technologies’, Nano Lett. 13 (10), 4902 (2013)
  • Q.M. Ramasse, C.R. Seabourne, R. Zan, D.M. Kepaptsoglou, U. Bangert, A.J. Scott, ‘Probing the bonding and electronic structure of single atom dopants in graphene with electron energy loss spectroscopy’,Nano Lett. 2013, 13, 498
  • R Zan, U Bangert, Q Ramasse, K S Novoselov, ‘Graphene re-knits its holes’, Nano Lett. 12, 3936 (2012)
  • R Zan, U Bangert, Q Ramasse, K S Novoselov, ‘Interaction of Metals with suspended Graphene observed by Transmission Electron Microscopy’, invited Perspective, J. of Phys.Chem. Lett, 3 (7), 953 (2012)
  • U. Bangert, C. T. Pan, R. R. Nair, and M. H. Gass, ‘Structure of hydrogen-dosed graphene deduced from low electron energy loss characteristics and density functional calculations’, Appl Phys Lett 97, 253118 (2010)
  • U. BangertA. BlelochM. H. GassA. Seepujak and J. van den Berg, ‘Doping of few-layered graphene and carbon nanotubes using ion implantation’, Phys Rev B 81, 245423 (2010)
  • R. R. Nair, P. Blake, J. R. Blake, R. Zan, S. Anissimova, U. Bangert, A. P. Golovanov, S. V. Morozov, A. K. Geim, K. S. Novoselov and T. Latychevskaia,‘Graphene as a transparent conductive support for studying biological molecules by transmission electron microscopy’, Appl Phys Lett 97, 153102 (2010)
  • J. W. L. Eccles, U. Bangert, M. Bromfield, P. Christian and A. J. Harvey, ‘Do nanomaterials form truly homogeneous alloys?’, J Appl Phys 107 104325 (2010)
  • R. J. Kashtiban, U. Bangert, M. Missous, ‘The Investigation of the effect of growthinterruption on structural formation of InAs/GaAs quantum dots superlattice structures grown by molecular beam epitaxy’, Microelectronics Journal 40 (2009) 479
  • S C Davies, D J Mowbray, F Ranalli, P J Parbrook,Q Wang, T Wang, B S Yea, B J Sherliker, M P Halsall, R. J. Kashtiban, U.Bangert, ‘Optical and microstructural studies of InGaN/GaN quantum dot ensembles’, Appl Phys Lett 95, 111903 (2009)
  • V D Blank , A Seepujak, EV Polyakov, DV Batov, BA Kulnitskiy, Yu N Parkhomenko, EA Skrylev, U Bangert, A Gutierrez-Sosa, A J Harvey, ‘Growth and characterisation of BNC nanostructures’, Carbon 47, 3167 (2009)
  • U Bangert, R Barnes, M H Gass, A L Bleloch, I S Godfrey, ‘Vacancy clusters, dislocations and brown colouration in diamond’, J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 21364208 (6pp) doi:10.1088/0953-8984/21/36/364208 (2009)
  • U Bangert, M H Gass, A L Bleloch, R R Nair, and A K GeimManifestation of ripples in free-standing graphene in lattice images obtained in an aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscope’, phys stat sol a, 206 (6), 1117 (2009) doi:10.1002/pssa.200824453 (2009)
  • M H Gass, U Bangert, A L Bleloch, P Wang, R R Nair & A K Geim,‘Free- standing graphene at atomic resolution, Nature Nanotech. vol 3 NOVEMBER 2008; doi: 10.1038/nnano.2008.280. (2008)
  • Booth TJ, Blake P, Nair RR, Jiang D, Hill EW, Bangert U, Bleloch A, Gass M, Novoselov KS, Katsnelson MI and Geim AK (2008) ‘Macroscopic graphene membranes and their extraordinary Stiffness’, Nano Lett.doi: 10.1021/nl801412y
  • T Eberlein, U Bangert,R R Nair, R Jones, M Gass, A L Bleloch,K S Novoselov, A Geim, P R Briddon, ‘Plasmon spectroscopy of free standing graphene films’, Phys Rev B 77, 233406 (2008)